Gov­ern­ment School Teach­ers Ab­sen­teeism Only 2.5%

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Con­trary to pop­u­lar per­cep­tion and even that of the cen­tral and state gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, a study finds In­dian gov­ern­ment school teach­ers as highly com­mit­ted and that their ab­sen­teeism rate is highly ex­ag­ger­ated.

As per the find­ings of the re­search group at the Azim Premji Foun­da­tion re­leased in March 2017, ab­sence with­out rea­son is not more than 2.5% as against the pop­u­lar per­cep­tion of 25%. And the rea­sons that usu­ally keep teach­ers out of school are “more to do with sys­temic is­sues that of­ten re­quire them to un­der­take other ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The study took a sam­ple of 619 schools and 2861 teach­ers across six states to an­a­lyze more closely the is­sue of teacher ab­sen­teeism. These schools are in the catch­ment area of the re­gions in which the Azim Premji Foun­da­tion works. As a dis­claimer, the re­port ob­serves: “Al­though our sam­ple is not sta­tis­ti­cally rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the whole of the coun­try, this num­ber is roughly in the same or­der of mag­ni­tude as in other stud­ies. We also ex­am­ine some po­ten­tial cor­re­lates of over­all ab­sence from class­room and find that there are few ob­vi­ous sys­tem­atic dif­fer­ences at­trib­ut­able to the stan­dard ar­gu­ments.”

The study was part of the univer­sity’s ef­forts to im­prove the qual­ity and eq­uity of school ed­u­ca­tion in India. “Our aim is to dis­sem­i­nate our stud­ies to prac­ti­tion­ers, aca­demics and pol­icy mak­ers who wish to un­der­stand some of the key is­sues fac­ing school ed­u­ca­tion as ob­served by ed­u­ca­tors in the field.”


B. Ya­diah teach­ing at a Gov­ern­ment School in Medi­palli, Andhra Pradesh

* Across Bi­har, Kar­nataka and Mad­hya Pradesh

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